English / Spanish - click below
The bicycle is a means of transport most adapted to the countryside, and forms part of the rural Uzbek lifestyle.
A few pictures of happy cyclists taken on the road in Fergana Valley
After the endless, bumpy dirt tracks of the desert and Tashkent’s huge avenues reserved for cars only, it seemed that Uzbekistan was not a country for cyclists. This idea was reinforced one hundred kilometers up the road when crossing the steep Tian Shan range at Kamchik pass - 2267m. But, once on the other side in the fertile Fergana Valley, we discovered a real cyclists’ paradise. The flat, wide roads and short distances between villages bring out crowds of cyclists. And at every stop for water or food many of them gather around us, curiously observing our breaks and gears - most bikes here don’t have neither. Children have fun saying "hello" in English and racing us. (The bike seat is usually too high for them, so they are forced to cycle standing up.) Adults cycle for more practical reasons, transporting goods - from a basket of bread to heavy sacks of vegetables balanced on the back wheel. We begin to understand why their wheels are bent. The general feeling is that of a place where one takes the time to move around and to live. What happened in the French countryside?...